Anyone who works with food whether a professional chef or a new homemaker will most likely agree that working with food is much like working with wood. The tasks involved can be a labor of love when you have sharp tools and an absolute nightmare and dangerous when your tools are dull. Doing cutting chores with a dull knife is always more dangerous because to make the cut you have to exert more pressure and while doing so could easily lose control and receive a nasty injury.
Because sharp knives are highly regarded and any technology that produces a better knife can quickly become popular. Well made stainless steel kitchen knives are usually expensive and even the best will require regular sharpening and care to make sure they do not rust. It can be aggravating to pick up a knife while in a rush to prepare a meal and discover that its edge is so dull it only crushes and does not cut.
What food preparers want is a blade that will stay sharp for extremely long periods of time. The knife should be light and thin and able to cut paper thin slices of vegetables, cheeses, meats and fish. The blade should not pick up and hold any contaminates that could pass on unwanted tastes to food. While many high end stainless steel knives can accomplish these goals they are subject to losing their edge periodically.
Those are some of the reasons that ceramic knives have found so many loyal users. Ceramic knife blades produced using a sintering process. Sintering is a technique where extreme pressure and heat are used to mold materials into finished shapes. The finished ceramic blades are so hard and tough that they must be sharpened with diamond wheels. Diamonds are the only material harder than ceramic.
While ceramic knives have been claimed to be the sharpest knives available the benefits of ceramic knives, their hardness and toughness, also contribute to their weakness. Many food handlers often abuse their steel knife blades by prying against bones or dropping them and otherwise banging them around. This will never do with ceramic knives. Because the blades are so hard they are not able to bend and return to shape as steel is able to do. If they are bent, dropped, used to pry lids or other such actions, they will surely break or chip. As with any precision woodworkers cutting tool they require more care than steel blades.
Because the positives of these knives seem to out rank the negatives it is difficult to find owners who have many negative comments about these knives even if they are using the cheaper models. These knives range in prices from about $15 to well over $100. Owners of the cheaper knives recognize that their knives while no where near the quality of the more expensive models, are still happy with the increased sharpness and ability to do many kitchen chores better with less effort.
Most professional users are happy with their knives because they are lighter than steel knives. One reason for this is because the ceramic blade is so much lighter than steel it is not necessary t add extra material in the handle to help balance the heavy blades. This make them much easier to use. Many of them also appreciate the fact that these blades will not rust or change from their natural state.
The sharpness is the bug issue. Many owners claim that these knives will stay sharp 10 to 15 times longer than their steel cousins. However tis can be a negative also. Because this material is so hard they can not be sharpened easily like steel blades and should be sent back to the factory for sharpening. However one or more manufacturers do offer a free service. all that is necessary is to pay for the shipping. the knives are sharpened at no cost.
There were one or two comments about the handle material of some of these knives. Some of the material is similar to rubber and a few owners would prefer wood. Another professional chef commented that while working with oily foods care should be taken because the handles can become slippery. Wiping the handles down and keeping hands dry should eliminate this issue.
These knives are one product where it would seem that it is not necessary to purchase the highest priced model to receive a top-notch knife. Many owners expressed their joy at finding high quality knife in the mid range prices.
Care must be taken while using these knives. They must not be used on a hard surface. They are not well suited for boning birds such as chicken or turkey. However with a little care these knives require little maintenance and some owners have commented that because stay sharp so long they can buy a new knife cheaply enough that they do not bother sending the old one back to the factory for sharpening.
Whether you are a professional chef or prepare food in your own kitchen you would do yourself a favor to investigate all that these knives have to offer. As mentioned earlier using the right tools can make many chores a joy. And if you do much cooking you will certainly find yourself reaching for you ceramic knife more and more.
Be sure to spend a little time researching owners comment to make sure you get just the right knife for your needs and your budget.